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Metallomics. 2018 Aug 15;10(8):1053-1064. doi: 10.1039/c8mt00115d.

Putative metal binding site in the transmembrane domain of the manganese transporter SLC30A10 is different from that of related zinc transporters.

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Division of Pharmacology & Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Institute for Cellular & Molecular Biology; and Institute for Neuroscience, The University of Texas at Austin, 3.510E BME, 107 W. Dean Keeton, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


SLC30 proteins belong to the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) superfamily of metal transporters. SLC30A10 mediates manganese efflux, while other SLC30 members transport zinc. Metal specificity of CDFs may be conferred by amino acids that form a transmembrane metal binding site (Site A). Site A of zinc-transporting CDFs, such as SLC30A1/ZnT1, have a HXXXD motif, but manganese transporters, such as SLC30A10, harbor a NXXXD motif. This critical histidine-to-asparagine substitution, at residue 43, was proposed to underlie manganese transport specificity of SLC30A10. However, we recently discovered that asparagine-43 was dispensable for manganese efflux in HeLa cells; instead, glutamate-25, aspartate-40, asparagine-127, and aspartate-248 were required. In contrast, another group reported that asparagine-43 was required in a chicken cell line. The goal of this study was to resolve the divergent results about the requirement of the crucial asparagine-43 residue. For this, we compared the manganese efflux activity of four cell types that stably over-expressed SLC30A10wild-type (WT), SLC30A10N43A or SLC30A10E25A: physiologically-relevant hepatic HepG2 and neuronal AF5 cells, HEK cells, and embryonic fibroblasts from Slc30a10-/- mice. In all cell types, manganese efflux activity of SLC30A10N43A was comparable to WT, while SLC30A10E25A lacked activity. Importantly, unlike SLC30A10, the histidine residue of the HXXXD motif of SLC30A1/ZnT1 was required for zinc transport. These results imply that the mechanisms of ion coordination within the transmembrane domain of SLC30A10 substantially differ from previously-studied CDFs, suggest that factors beyond Site A residues may confer metal specificity to CDFs, and improve understanding of the pathobiology of manganese toxicity due to mutations in SLC30A10.

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